Here is a list, by week, of everyone who has performed at The Paper Machete since its official launch on January 23, 2010. The show became weekly the following month.

Read full text of some performances under “writing” and visit us on Youtube for show videos and recordings.

July 17, 2010

Diana Slickman (The Neo-Futurists, BoyGirlBoyGirl) went (Emily) Postal on LeBron’s job-switching etiquette.

Paul Brittain (iO Chicago) appeared as “Sex” Ed Vincent to address the Exxxstacy Show currently underway in Rosemont.

Phil Dawkins (playwright, with another installment of “Culture Schlock”) appeared for a “Culture Schlock” segment on Alicia Keys and the issue of judging others’ choices.

Lisa Buscani (The Neo-Futurists, National Poetry Slam Champion) described an unlikely trip to a Republican party.

Michael Patrick Thornton (ABC’s Private Practice, The Gift Theater) tackled the Mel Gibson debacle.

Musical Guest: Justin Hayford (Chicago Reader)

Musical Guest: Faces for Radio

July 10, 2010

Ben Valentine (The Paper Machete Mixmaster) discussed competitive eating.

Theatrical Guest: Strange Tree’s “King Phycus”

Andrea Lenaburg (Guest storyteller) recounted a trip home to grandma Thelma.

Eric Roach and Anderson Lawfer (Reviews You Can Iews) offered a new spin on the oil spill.

Paul Durica (Pocket Guide to Hell Tours) held an Illinois corruption trivia contest.

Katie Rich (appearing as South Side resident Patti Benassi) weighed in on the Taste.

Jessica Anne (The Neo-Futurists) discussed sonograms,vibrators and casting decisions.

Musical Guest: Bethany Thomas (actress/singer, Dirty Rooks)

July 3, 2010: 4th of July Show

In honor of Independence Weekend, guests presented songs and words relating to the theme “America.”

Musical Guest: Abraham Levitan (Baby Teeth)

Ali Weiss addressed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Chicago’s handgun ban via baseball poem.

Steve Heisler shared memories of fireworks.

The History Girls (Katie Watson and Lindsay Harrington of Sirens improv) appeared as Capt. John Rolfe and Pocahontas to address immigration.

Musical Guest: Sad Brad Smith

Stephanie Shaw (BoyGirlBoyGirl) discussed raising kids during wartime.

Christopher Piatt discussed Horace Greeley in light of changes at The Chicago Reader.

John Paul Davis read a poem about shades of White

Musical Guest: Christina Anthony (The Second City e.t.c.)

Margaret Lyons (Entertainment Weekly) read feminist poetry.

June 26, 2010: Special Edition Pride Show

At the Neo-Futurarium, to benefit TPAN.

Dave Awl (writer, performer, veteran of The Neo-Futurists) hosted the show, opening with his rendition of David Bowie’s “Queen Bitch,” complete with back-up dancers.

Phil Dawkins (playwright) presented the second installment of his signature Paper Machete segment, “Culture Schlock.” In the interest of Pride and kindess, he found something nice to say about every celeb pictured in the current issue of US Weekly … all in under three minutes.

Coya Paz (writer/performer/lip gloss connoisseur) shared enlightening tales of dual mommyhood.

Jack Tamburri (actor, writer, director, The Plagiarists) performed beat poetry about Craigslist ads, accompanied by Mike Przygoda (Rego, The Pawns) on upright bass.

Jayson Brooks (of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound) read an essay about homosexuality throughout history and performed a poem about an ex.

Kristen Studard (writer/actress/improviser) appeared as Marlene Biscotti, star-fucker, to take audience questions on celebrity performance.

Jay Torrence (The Neo-Futurists) spoke of losing a dear friend to cancer.

Sharon Greene (The Neo-Futurists) talked about becoming a wife and gaining a wife.

Mary Fons (The Neo-Futurists) performed a short play entitled “This Play is So Gay.”

June 26, 2010

Ali Weiss guest hosted in Piatt’s absence. A late start due to World Cup extra time meant a few acts had to cancel, but the show went on…

Caitlin Parrish (writer, Time Out Chicago) gave the uncensored low-down on the Twilight novels and some insight into their author.

Jeff Gandy (writer/performer, Second City Training Center Teen & Youth Program Director) appeared as Dick Dandermuff, summer camp director, to give an orientation speech for campers and parents at Big City Improv.

Josh Zagoren (actor, writer, puppeteer, Hobo Junction, The Bad Tomato) returned to the Machete with puppet Chad, the pink bird from Laguna Beach, who gave his unique perspective on Toy Story 3. He then took audience questions.

June 19, 2010

Ian Belknap (The Paper Machete’s Dean of Mean) read an open greeting card to his departed father.

Scott Stealy (The 2nd Hand) spoke about his father’s role in inventing the Equal sugar substitute under the guidance of Donald Rumsfeld.

Tif Harrison contested some academic findings that daddies aren’t necessary.

Mel Evans returned to the show as Lincoln Square mommy Elise Winston-Offenbeck, with a message about her Father’s Day priorities.

Bob Hungerford (actor, the Spatula City owner in UHF) spoke about fatherhood and performed an excerpt of a monologue from The Speed of Darkness.

Jonathan Messinger (Featherproof Books, The Dollar Store) read a letter about his first year of fatherhood to his deceased friend, musician Stephanie Morris.

Musical Guest: Starina Catchatoorian

June 12, 2010

Scott Smith (Chicago Magazine) gave the Blago report.

Kelly Kleiman (848 Dueling Critic) deconstructed Broadway in Chicago.

Mary Winn Heider gave the South Carolina politics report.

Steve Heisler discussed the issue of joke-stealing in a new segment called “What’s So Funny? with Steve Heisler.”

Musical Guests: Alyson Lyon (Essay Fiesta); Carolyn Hoerdemann (TUTA) with Kennedy Greenrod (The Thin Man)

June 5, 2010

Keith Ecker (Essay Fiesta) read his advice column for conservatives.

John Paul Davis (Chicago slam poet) recited a poem about the Gore divorce.

Noelle Krimm (The Neo-Futurists) discussed her son’s liver transplant.

Jayson Brooks (JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound) read a story about the time he quit working at Starbucks.

Musical Guest: The band from TUTA‘s production of Baal, music by Josh Schmidt.

May 29, 2010

Ben Kenigsberg (Time Out Chicago film critic) recapped his week at Cannes.

Anderson Lawfer and Eric Roach (Reviews you can iews) previewed summer movies.

Mel Evans (The Playground) performed a new segment, “The World Out There from Lincoln Square,” as mom Elise Winston-Offenbeck.

Steve Heisler interviewed iO owner Charna Halpen about the “mallification of Clark St.,” and urban plan that will remove iO and other local businesses from the intersection at Wrigley Field.

Ali Weiss explained the recently-announced $70.6 million Chicago Olymbic bid budget, in the form of a short teleplay for Lost.

Megan Mercier (The Neo-Futurists) gave the sex report.

Christopher Piatt talked about getting arrested on the first night of the Iraq war.

May 22, 2010

Ryan Dolan (Pudding Thank You) discussed his decision to leave Facebook.

Ian Belknap (Write Club host, The Paper Machete’s Dean of Mean) took on the word “transparency.”

Brian Nemtusak (journalist) talked about working at the Chicago Reader.

Katie Rich (actress, writer, The Second City) gave the scoop on her celebrity gossip addiction.

Caitlin Parrish (writer, Time Out Chicago) previewed Sex and the City 2 and actual sex trafficking in Abu Dabi, the film’s glamorous location.

Bilal Dardai (The Neo-Futurists) took on the controversial new Arab-American Miss USA.

May 15, 2010

Ben Valentine told a bartending story while mixing a drink.

Ali Weiss compared the UK’s new Prime Minister to Justin Bieber.  (Full Text Here)

Robbie Q. Telfer (Encyclopedia Show) weighed in on school violence.

Kristen Studard (actress, improviser) took audience questions as celebrity star fucker Marlene Biscotti.

Seth Weitberg (The Week in Rebuke) gave a recap of the week’s headlines.

May 8, 2010

Ian Belknap, the Machete’s official Dean of Mean, read an open letter accepting his post as resident misanthrope and left only scorched earth behind him.

Kara Jakaubec (Basic 8) weighed in TV’s current crop of moms and generally discouraged getting parenting tips from the boob tube.

Kim Conte, a currently childless editorial employee of a mom website, gave insight into being a not-yet-mother in a world that affirms mommies first.

Hank Sartin (Time Out Chicago film editor) told a personal narrative about making assisted-living arrangements for his aging mother.

Mike Daisey, currently at work on a new monologue play about Steve Jobs, ranted about the impracticality of all iThings and reported on the mysterious death of a Chinese computer factory employee who lost a prototype.

Genevra Gallo-Bayiates (Neo-Futurists) read a monologue about the lies everyone tells you about motherhood BEFORE you have your own bundle(s) of joy.

James Asmus (Hey You Millionaires, Marvel artist) dropped in on his visit from L.A. and stirred up the crowd with a segment about the Going Away cards his teacher girlfriend’s student crafted for her.

Musical Guest: Laura Grey and Laura McKenzie (Laura on Laura: The Comeback Tour) rocked the bar with songs about wormholes, and hookers with hearts of gold.

Christopher Piatt opened and closed the show with stories of familial semi-scandal.

May 1, 2010

(No show).

April 24, 2010

Aimee Perkins gave the market report, reflecting on the Goldman Sachs scandal.

Katie Watson and Lindsey Harrington (Sirens) returned to the Machete as “The History Girls,” this time as artists Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin on health care reform.

Keith Ecker (Essay Fiesta) discussed the legalization of pot.

Christopher Piatt talked about the Goodman theater donor bar and a designer called Holly Go Roughly.

Dave Awl (The Neo-Futurists) read his classic work of fiction, “Love the Shirt.”

Musical Guest: Jenny Lamb

April 17, 2010

This show was guest hosted by Paper Machete co-producer Ali Weiss, with Piatt texting in updates from his trip home to Kansas.

Lacy Campbell (actor, writer, creator of Beowulf vs. Grendel) and friend Brenda Arellano told the story of the long-distance friendship Lacy formed via a language exchange Web site. (Video)

Steve Heisler (comedy critic, producer) discussed Conan O’Brien’s return to television on TBS (very funny) and described his thwarted attempts to get online community to pay much attention to the matter. (Full Text Here)

Ali Weiss (writer, performer) shared an old tale of analog bullying and compared the media’s preoccupation with “cyber” bullying to the late 90s obsession with dot-com stocks.

Kristen Studard (writer, performer, social media coordinator for Threadless) took us into the world of SXSW Interactive with slides, anecdotes, market trends, and even a demonstration of nerd-flirting.

Josh Zagoren (puppeteer, actor, artistic director of  Hobo Junction) brought affable pink bird Chad to the show for a Legendary Interview with local musician Sad Brad Smith. (Video)

Musical Guest: Sad Brad Smith (Video)

April 10, 2010

Ian Belknap (Write Club host) the Paper Machete’s official Dean of Mean, gave the American kiddie culture report, and made the prospect of parenthood look hilariously grim.

Megan Mercier (Neo-Futurists) responded to a recent Atlantic Monthly article on the unemployablility of Generation Y… And realized at the microphone that she went to grade school in Alabama with the Chicagoist’s Marcus Gilmer.

Lisa Buscani (slam poet, Neo-Futurists) responded to a murder that took place earlier this week on her block in Uptown, despite that neighborhood’s forthcoming Target ribbon-cutting.

Joel Reese (journalist) commerorating the Cubs’ opening week, recounted his top five Wrigley Field moments, including a brush with a comical foul-mouthed South Sider.

Michael Lehrer (comedian, iO, The Second City) gave economic advice, including how to get a dollar from 15 cents.

Marcus Gilmer (The Chicagoist) reported on news from the Blago-sphere, including the shenigans from Celebrity apprentice.

April 3, 2010

Mary Fons (Neo-Futurists) talked about why her husband joined the millitary, and what it’s to explain that choice in a city full of anti-war liberals.

Alyson Lyon (Essay Fiesta) gave the CTA report, and explained why a trixie with a “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” tee shirt might want to consider the realities or pimpin’ before mocking them.

Steve Jacobs (lawyer) burned down the house with his explanation of Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against E-Trade.

Steve Heisler (comedy critic, producer) spoke about the Lakeshore Theater’s closing—what it means for comedy and why replacing it is no easy task.

March 27, 2010

Ali Weiss gave suggestions for How to Make Teabaggers Stop Worrying and Love Reform. Perhaps the key is to sound exactly like them. (Text here).

Jason Economus took aim at the Cottonelle “Under or Over” campaign in a poetic deconscruction of our media-obessessed culture.  He wore a blue sweat band.

Phil Dawkins, in a new segment called “Culture Schlock, or, The Doily Show,” made the case for celebrating Taylor Swift’s mediocrity. He then invited all Paper Machete guests to make Taylor Swift crafts, using yarn, puddy, glitter, teen magazines and gay porn. There was a winner and a prize.

Andy Bayiates (Neo-Futurists) explored art, career goals and cocktail-party social conventions in a story about meeting Barack Obama at a small fundraiser for his Senatorial run.

Emily Sharp (Rotary Club International) recounted discovering via Facebook that an old high school classmate, and bullying homophobe, was one of the missionaries accused of kidnapping in Haiti.

Kerry Reid (The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Tribune) drew uncanny parallels between the freelance journalist and Carl the Janitor in The Breakfast Club, which occured 26 years ago this week on March 24, 1984. (Text here).

World Theater Day 2010

On March 27, 2010, Paper Machete Host Christopher Piatt read from “The Second City Essays” at the Chopin Theater as part of World Theater Day. Here are more photos of the event.

Christopher Piatt at World Theater Day 2010. Photo by Reema Abu-Gheida.

March 20, 2010

Jonathan Messinger (Featherproof Books, The Dollar Store), who prefers the NBA to the NCAA, nonetheless stood up for March Madness fans.

Brooke Bagnall (performer, The Second City), appeared as the helpful, twangy Crafty Kathy Kramer to give the audience DIY medical tips for use until health care reform goes into effect.

Steve Heisler (journalist) literally tore apart Jerry Seinfeld’s autobiography while figuratively tearing apart his career choices and latest primetime show, The Marriage Ref.

Katie Watson, an improviser who is also an attorney and teaches bioethics at Northwestern, weighed in on proposed legislation in Utah regarding a pregnant teen, and explored the public definition of abortion.

Nathan Rabin (journalist, The Onion A.V. Club) recounted an encounter with Eric Estrada of CHiPs backstage at a Canadian talk show.

Seth Weitberg (comic, The Week In Rebuke), who has played Rahm Emanuel in front of Rahm Emanuel, read a personal email from Rahm Emanuel.

Musical Guest: Steve and Other Steve

March 13, 2010

Jim Fath and John Bohan (Hey You Millionaires) shared Irish cultural artifacts in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Paul Durica (Pocket Guide to Hell Tours) gave a slide presentation on what makes a great Chicago Alderman (the 1st Ward is hiring!)

Katie Watson and Lindsey Harrington (Sirens) gave an Oscars recap as Drs. Watson and Crick, the co-discoverers of DNA.

Brian Costello (author, The Enchanter vs. Sprawlburg Springs), performed Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine” on acoustic guitar and part of a new Paper Machete segment, “Prove You’re Not a Stereotype.”

Susan Messing came by for an interview with Christopher Piatt. (Listen here and here)

Ali Weiss (writer, performer) presented a pap smear shopping guide for today’s uninsured woman. (Listen here).

Bilal Dardai (The Neo-Futurists) reflected on springing forward into daylight savings time. (Text here).

Christopher Piatt recounted a favorite family story, his sweet mother’s run in with a Westboro Baptist Church sign-weilding butthole. (Listen here).

March 6, 2010

Katie Rich (performer, The Second City), originally of 80th and Pulaski, shared her thoughts on reality show casting on Chicago’s South Side.

Margaret Lyons (journalist, Entertainment Weekly) gave a television rundown and spoke about leaving Chicago for New York.

Michael Phillips came by for a pre-Oscar chat with Christopher Piatt.

Christopher Piatt spoke about the 1950 A.J. Liebling essay that first labeled Chicago the “Second City.” (Text here).

Ryan O’Connor (food blogger and Whole Foods employee) share thoughts on some of the shopping lists he has found on the job.

Lisa Buscani (The Neo-Futurists) stuck it to gay marriage opponents.

Musical Guest: Sad Brad Smith

February 27, 2010

Jim Fath (Hey You Millionaires) spoke about the death of Growing Pains’ “Boner.”

Leah Pietrusiak (freelance journalist) spoke about Chicago’s endangered lowcost health clinics.

Diana Slickman (The Neo-Futurists) responded to a list of corrupt Illinois politicians with a parable about mouse infestation.

James Kennedy (author, The Order of Oddfish) read an imaginary account of his fantastical bout with other authors at the National Library Association Awards.

Chloe Johnston (The Neo-Futurists) lamented the lack of American protest culture.

Megan Powell (journalist, performer, Size Eight) read an open letter to Lady Gaga.

Christopher Piatt talked about CTA woes, from layoffs to gay bashing.

February 20, 2010

Ben Johnson (comic) appeared as Asshole Winter Olympian.

Kristen Studard (improviser, marketing guru for Threadless) gave a socially awkward social networking report.

Steve Heisler (journalist) reenacted a frustrating phone call to his health insurance company.

Ali Weiss (writer, performer) spoke about temps who aren’t counted in corporate layoffs.

Christopher Piatt explained why he’s giving up Sarah Palin for Lent.

Musical Guest: Lola Bolatro

February 6, 2010

Ken Barnard (comic) played recently arrested conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe.

Aimee Perkins (market analyst) explained why one of her girlfriends is suddenly ready to have a baby.

Steve Heisler (journalist) talked about tweeting for a corporation at a temp job.

Jack Tamburri (actor, writer, director, The Plagiarists) caught us up on the Marvel comic universe.

Mel Evans (improviser) meditated on the meaning of Super Bowl halftime shows.

January 23, 2010

Dave Awl (The Neo-Futurists)  gave the opening invocation. (LISTEN HERE.)

Ben Valentine, head waiter at Mado, gave the restaurant report.

Ali Weiss (writer, performer), whose banker was on The Bachelorette, linked reality shows to the consumer debt crisis.

Jonathan Messigner (Featherproof Books, The Dollar Store), a Massachusetts native, defended his home state in the wake of the Scott Brown election.

Cliff Chamberlin (actor) just back from playing the smallest role in the Broadway production of Superior Donuts, recounted being a Great White Way nobody.

Emily Sharp (Rotary International) talked about the treachery of American aid abroad in response to the Haiti earthquake.

Christopher Piatt discusses the “old days” of print journalism and recalled lessons learned from Martha Bayne,
his editor at the Chicago Reader. (LISTEN HERE.)

Musical Guest: Faces For Radio



4 responses to “Recaps

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